The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
by Naching T. Kassa
Rick Redbird stood beneath a moon of dark tidings.
Clouds skittered across the wide sky, blotting out the moonlight and casting shadows over the desert. Red, sandstone boulders grew up out of the earth like strange monoliths and carrion eaters cawed as Rick approached the rusted old Ford. Once, it had been a work of art which belonged to his grandfather. Now, it was a mess of shattered glass, graffiti, and missing pieces.
Just like Rick.
The young man looked down at the tattoos which adorned his skin, felt the gaps between his teeth with his tongue, and blinked through his cracked glasses. He crossed to the pickup and gazed inside. The key was in the ignition, a worn and denuded rabbit’s foot hung from it.
“Hello, Rick,” a male voice said. “I’m surprised you had the guts to come find me.”
The young man turned. A tall man, dressed in black had appeared near the largest of the boulders. He leaned against it, smiling from behind his Ray-bans. Moonglow filled each lens, shone in his oily hair, and glittered in the studs of his leather jacket.
“Your fight was never with me,” Rick said.
“I beg to differ, grandson of my enemy. It became your fight when your grandfather died. He cheated me of my revenge when he snuffed it in his bed. If I can’t exact my revenge on him, you’ll do just as well.”
He sauntered over to Rick and joined him beside the pickup.
“It’s not personal, you know. It’s just…well, I have a reputation to maintain and your grandfather humiliated me before the public eye.”
“Was an old fool. He was no medicine man. He was lucky he died before I killed him.”
“Smart? What kind of man screws with a skinwalker? He didn’t have to tell everyone what I was. An intelligent man wouldn’t have. An intelligent man would’ve profited from the situation.” He patted the truck. “Or, turned the situation to his advantage.”
“You were frightened of him. You should—“
“I should what? I fear no man. No mortal poses a threat to me.”
Before Rick’s eyes, the skinwalker shifted form. He dropped to all fours as fur sprouted over his skin. Within seconds, a coyote had taken his place.
The carrion birds cawed as though laughing.
The coyote spoke in an unnatural tone as his tongue grappled with the human words.
“The fastest car can’t outrun me. The strongest jaw cannot equal mine. I am a killing machine. So, tell me. What do I have to fear?”
A grin spread across Rick’s face.
“Do you know how to kill a skinwalker?”
“There is no way.”
“You speak their true name.”
The coyote vanished and a man took his place once more.
“How do you know this?”
“I’m adept at the Enemy Way. You feared my grandfather. I’m the one you should fear.”
“You don’t know my name.”
“Why do you think I came here tonight? To beg for my life? I came with only one thing in mind…Jim Crowhorse.”
The skinwalker screamed. He fell.
Red and angry wounds appeared on his face and hands. They bled. His screams gurgled in his throat as he convulsed on the dry, cracked ground.
Rick opened the pickup’s door and slipped inside the cab. He turned the key and the engine roared to life.
Rust and age fell away from the vehicle within an instant. Time turned backward and the machine shone in the moonlight.
Rick did too.
The skinwalker lay still as he drove away.
Fiction © Copyright Naching T. Kassa
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
More from Naching T. Kassa:
It’s the Final Masquerade and it’s your turn to dance.
The evening is ending and the guests are ready to leave, but the final event of the evening is just beginning — the unmasking.
Welcome to Final Masquerade where no one is who they seem.
Stories written by Daniel I. Russell * Ken MacGregor * J.C. Delisle * Joshua Chaplinsky * Lori Safranek * D.S. Ullery * Samantha Lienhard * Thomas Kleaton * Josh Strnad * Naching T. Kassa * Roy C. Booth & Axel Kohagen * Sheldon Woodbury * Craig Steven * Gregory L. Norris * Jay Eales * Dale W. Glaser * R.K. Kombrinck * Jonathan Cromack * Brian C. Baer * Adrian Chamberlin